Eugen Gomringer Translation (partial)

vom vers zur konstellation

by Eugen Gomringer

This is a partial translation of an Eugen Gomringer text about concrete poetry. It isn’t the whole essay, by a long shot, and there may be a missing sentence or two.

This is for fun. I’m not a professional translator and I’m not studying to become one. I just wanted to share this thing I’ve started in the hopes that someone will appreciate it and/or that someone can point me toward a more official translation of the text.

The essay excerpted here is important for concrete poetry but it doesn’t seem to show up in English (at least not enough for me to get my hands on it). So, I thought I’d use my high school/college German (with a year abroad) to give it a shot.

Alles Gut!

From “konkrete poesie” published by universal-bibliothek

Our time speaks, as every time does, its very own language. It speaks foremost, even when writing and writing a great deal. The contemporary person wants to understand passion and have it understood, and many people—the number of whom will increase considerably—wish to understand passion through other people. The means is direct speech and writing, [.] Writing and reading are difficult, messy. In other words: for quick communication television speech is easier than the letter, the radio is easier than printed news. 

Our speech finds itself on the way to a formal simplification. 

Our speech finds itself on the way to a formal simplification. It is making itself into a reduced, quick form. Often the meaning of a sentence is conveyed with a single word, often longer explanations are expressed with smaller groups of words. It is showing also the tendency of putting many languages through a few general expressions. 

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